Do you know what really bothers me? It bothers me that in corporate America, they oftentimes do a better job of utilizing spiritual principles than spiritual people do. That bothers me. I don’t get it. Why should people who are using creative principles, which are spiritual principles, for essentially self-centered reasons, often do it more intently, with more focus, more deliberately, than spiritual people who come together for spiritual purposes that are essentially selfless? Or at least it would seem so. I’ve worked in corporate America and I’ve lived in spiritual community for most of my adult life. So I have firsthand observation of both.
In the ’60s and early ’70s, I was very much involved in what I thought of as the counterculture—until I found out that the counterculture, as I thought of it, was actually part of the culture. Over time, it was very nicely absorbed into the culture at large, and the culture at large was more or less able to co-opt and assimilate anything new that might have shown up in the counterculture. And there we were, right back where we started. I think if you trace the history of that period, you would see that that is, in many respects, exactly what happened.
What I’ve learned is it’s not enough to just object to the culture at large and then do something in contrast to it. Because as long as that’s the perspective, the whole orientation hasn’t changed fundamentally.
What’s happened is that human culture has stood up in the sight of all Creation and said that we, as human beings, are the reality and we’re what’s important, and ultimately everything else has to relate to us as human beings. And then, from that standpoint, we’re a little disappointed about global warming—why? Not because it might cause the devastation of species on the planet, but because it’s getting hot for us and water is rising near our cities, or so it will one day. And so, if people are fighting for some kind of reversal of global warming, why? And if it’s just so that we’ll all be more comfortable, has anything really changed?
What I say is that there’s an awareness and a consciousness coming that is not born out of human culture. It is not only an alternative to human culture as it is, and it is not a reaction to the human world. It is a reality that transcends human culture. Human culture is born out of universal consciousness, not the other way around. As it is, human culture has become some kind of bizarre, distorted reflection of universal consciousness. That’s what war is. That’s what an atomic bomb is, and so many other things that we, as humanity, have created.
So here’s why I think that corporate America, in many cases, is more focused on spiritual and creative principles than people who think of themselves as spiritual, or people who think of themselves as being involved in the evolution of consciousness. It is because human culture has stolen creative principles from the universe—and by the way, there’s no other place to get them from. So human beings have stolen creative principles from the universe, adopted them, called them their own, and used them on a self-centered basis for self-centered gain in an experience of division and separation from the universe as a whole and from each other. And then we, who consider ourselves spiritual, look at the corporate world and say, “Wow, that’s pretty unpleasant.”
I’ve met so many people in my life who tell me that they are sick of corporate America. They are sick of a 9 to 5 job; they are tired of being bossed around by somebody unpleasant and tyrannical. And so they want to follow a greater calling of their heart and of their spirit. I have compassion for people like that, and I feel some of the same things myself. But I can honestly say that I found a way to be free in corporate America when I worked in that environment. I found a way to be myself, and that was liberating.
Here is the issue for people who are interested in conscious evolution and spirituality: It can be hard to distinguish between what is of the self-centered human world and the principles of Reality that world has stolen. Those principles don’t belong to humanity. They belong to the Universe. They belong to the Creator. And rightly, they belong to us if we are in service to that larger reality.
As we belong to the Creator and as we belong to the Universe, those principles are our principles. The very means by which Creation happens are our means. They don’t belong to corporate America; they don’t belong to humanity, as such, or to any of the cultures of the world. The problem is that the human world is using creative principles for self-centered purposes, and they are applied in self-centered ways.
I appreciate how difficult it is for people to make the distinction between the corporate world and the creative principles that world has adopted for its own purposes. This distinction is vital if we’re not to live lives that ultimately end up in futility; if we’re not to find that in the micro world in which we live—our own friends and family—we are, in the end, doing things that are no different from the world around us.
Living at Sunrise Ranch, I have an opportunity to see people work with these issues. I have an opportunity to see people who come here, desiring for something different in their life; and because they don’t understand these distinctions, they fall prey to the same kind of addictions that are common in the world, the same kind of victimhood, and the way of relating in their family, in romance, and in community that is not working for so many people in the world at large.
Oftentimes, they have made this mistake: In leaving the life they have been living in the world at large, they are abandoning universal creative principles that have been stolen by that world. They come to Sunrise Ranch with good intentions, and good intentions are wonderful—we don’t go anyplace without them. But if we can’t distinguish between the things that are of the Universe and of Creation, and the things that are of a human society that has chosen a wrong road, we’re stuck. We’ve hit a ceiling, and we can’t go further.
What are the universal principles the human world has adopted? Here’s a hint: they aren’t easy. At least they don’t seem easy to someone who is running away from them. But those hard things are the doorways into reality. They are doorways into being a creator. They are doorways into freedom and real liberation—not something that is simply a counterculture or an alternative. I’m talking about Reality. Human culture, as it is, has become some kind of sad alternative to Reality.
So here are three things that are high on my list of universal creative principles:
- FOCUS Focus means many things. It’s the ability to focus mentally. If you can’t focus mentally and stay with the creative process, you’re not going to create much. It will be one thought one moment and one thought the next. How does Creation move through a human being who can’t come to focus mentally? My experience is that it takes practice to stay focused mentally so that something happens creatively; so that something manifests. It takes focus from moment to moment and hour to hour, day to day, and it takes focus over the course of a lifetime, too. § But focus isn’t just mental. How about emotional focus? As human beings we are subject to moods. But it’s one thing to feel a mood and it’s another thing to let it be your defining reality. There’s a big difference. It’s one thing to feel many things—I have many moods waft in and out. But that doesn’t mean I have to take all my life energy as a human being and throw it into that mood. Where’s the focus that keeps calling my heart and my feelings back to something creative? § The highest level of focus is spiritual. A person focuses spiritually when they orient to a spiritual reality that is higher than they are. It should be easy to acknowledge that I didn’t make this day, and I didn’t create myself. I didn’t even create my thoughts. I didn’t create my life and I didn’t create you. There is something larger than you and me that’s creating it all. That larger reality is God, by whatever name. You don’t become a true creator in your life without honoring the Creator who is larger than you are. § We become a creator ourselves to the degree that the Creator is vivid in consciousness and we open up to that reality; when we give ourselves to it and we live in service to it. We let that be our focus. We let God Himself be our God. I’m not just talking about the God of religion. I’m not talking about your God or my God. I’m not talking about a Jewish God or an Islamic God or a Hindu God. I’m talking about the real God, the God of all Gods—reality God. When you and I give ourselves to that reality, we allow ourselves to be in service to that; we’re focused by it, and the focus of that comes into us, and then we have the supreme privilege of bringing that spiritual focus into our life and into our world. § Two of the wealthiest people in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, were asked to name the most important factor in their success. They both gave the same one-word answer: Focus. § But focus doesn’t just make people money. It is a universal principle of Creation. For people on a spiritual path, their own lack of focus can become a ceiling. Or it can be a powerful instrument for Creation.
- CONTROL AND DISCIPLINE Another ceiling people hit relates to these two words, control and discipline. This is ultimately self-control and self-discipline. But most people don’t come to that experience without accepting the control and discipline offered by others. And it is hard for most people to be truly creative without being able to accept the control and discipline implicit in the external context in which they are creating. § Anyone who is creative has to learn these things. You don’t create anything of value—whether it’s a work of art or whether it’s a business, a family or a project, whatever it is—without learning control and discipline. Or without dealing with any lack of control and discipline within yourself. A creative person learns a kind of control and discipline that isn’t stifling, that sets Creation free and sets them free. How does the power of Creation operate through a human being who does not experience discipline and control? § I found out early on that I’m the kind of person that really doesn’t like to accept control or discipline from another person. Yet I found that there were situations where it was needed. For instance, sailing with my father as a boy, when I got an order to trim the mainsail, I learned that could be the difference between capsizing and not capsizing. So there have certainly been times in my life when accepting external control and discipline was clearly important. But I sought to avoid having to take any more direction from other people than I had to. § Here was my solution to it. It was to follow the control and discipline within me to such a degree that nobody had to tell me what to do, so that in working with other people, I was a step ahead of them and was already doing what they might have asked me to do, so they didn’t have to ask me. And then if they did ask, to make sure that they knew I was going to do everything I could to fulfill what they wished of me, so that I wouldn’t have to endure being asked again. § What I also realized was that I couldn’t be a creator without accepting control and discipline in my life. I wanted so badly to create, and I wanted so badly to manifest the spiritual reality that I’d touched, that it was highly worth it to me to embrace those qualities.
- GIVING UP YOUR EGO To be a creator, you have to give up your ego. First of all, you can’t find out who you are if you are not giving up your ego. If you are full of ego experiences, like a sense of victimhood or a sense of deserving something you do not have, you really can’t come to focus creatively. And it’s also very hard to accept control and discipline when you live from ego. § There’s something else that’s very hard for a person who can’t give up their ego: they can’t find peace. It’s hard to find peace when you’re hanging on to your ego. Did you ever come to a point in a conversation with another person who was so full of their own ego that you felt like saying, “Stop talking”? I’ve rarely said that, but sometimes I think it. I’ve thought, What you’re saying isn’t making this any better, and it’s not helping you, and it’s certainly not helping me. § And do you ever feel like saying that to yourself when you hear your own mind going on and on about whatever it is, worse than a dog gnawing a bone? Do you ever feel like just saying, “Stop talking”? There is another voice in yourself, another reality, some other knowing, some other wisdom, that is looking to come through. It’s not going to come through your ego. Until your ego stops talking, that greater and deeper wisdom can’t find its way through, and so you can’t create. § I do think we need to say that to ourselves sometimes: Stop talking. Find a deeper peace. And in that deeper peace, find a deeper knowing, a deeper reality. From that knowing and from that reality, there comes not only peace but wisdom and truth. Your truth, which ends up not being separate from my truth or any truth. If there’s a meaning to the word truth, it isn’t just fact and it’s not just belief, and it isn’t just your truth and it isn’t just mine. And it’s not what’s written in a book someplace. It’s the truth of this universe in which we live. Knowing that truth, we are free of the ego-defined experience. We are free to create.
There is an experience of Creation we have had the opportunity to share in this Pulse of Spirit. That experience transpires within a holy place in consciousness full of our shared meditation. I want to invite you to a yet deeper place, a place within the holy place that we’ve come to, which is a place of not only feeling the atmosphere of what we are sharing and not only of meditating together on these things. This deeper place is a place of knowing, where we are called to be the living embodiment of the reality that we are touching. A place where we know that we are called to worship at the feet of the Creator, to honor that reality, to be astounded by the wonder of it, the wonder of the Creator.
In our worship and in our honor for that reality, we find that it is conveyed to us, that it is streaming to us through heart and mind; that we are imbued with that reality; that we are that Creator as man and woman; that we are, if we will let it be so, inheriting the power of Creation that works through consciousness. It creates our world. It reaches out through us to others and brings blessing and peace. It brings wisdom and focus and direction, the wisdom and focus and direction of the Creator.
In this space in consciousness, we are whole, we are holy. We are not defined by any kind of victimhood or anything that’s happened in our lives. We are that reality which is giving life to our life and to our world. Thank you for participating in this entry into a deeper place in consciousness. The way of accepting these universal creative principles is the way in. This is what truly spiritual people know. The creative principles become a door to Creation and a door to the experience of being the Creator.
I look around in the world and I see people who can’t find the door to a deeper experience. That’s largely because there are all kinds of goblins in front of the door that make it look as if a person is going to lose something. Those goblins can be ego surrender, focus, self-discipline and control. So the person walks by the door and doesn’t enter in. When we enter in, we become one with the Creator. We are the Creator in human form. We are showing others the door, saying, It’s right here. You’re walking right by it! But you could walk through the door and have a different experience. You could become a Creator.